File photo: CGTN
SINGAPORE, June 7 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States must figure out how to allow for competition between them in some areas without letting rivalry get in the way of cooperation in others, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.
Despite the fact that it is natural for big powers to compete, "it is their capacity for cooperation that is the true test of statecraft, and it will determine whether humanity makes progress on global problems," such as climate change and the spread of infectious diseases, Lee said in an article published Thursday in the U.S. magazine Foreign Affairs.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how vital it is for countries to work together, he noted.
"Diseases do not respect national borders, and international cooperation is desperately needed to bring the pandemic under control and reduce damage to the global economy," he said.
Noting that China has become Asia's biggest economy and a major economic partner in the past few decades, Lee said that "many Asian countries now increasingly seized the opportunities created by China's rapid development. Trade and tourism with China grew, and supply chains became tightly integrated."
It is nearly impossible for the United States to replace China as the world's chief supplier, and unthinkable that the United States could do without the Chinese market, said Lee, adding that China can't displace the U.S. economic role in Asia .
Asian countries' success in the fight against COVID-19, and their future prosperity, "will depend greatly on whether the United States and China can overcome their differences, build mutual trust, and work constructively to uphold a stable and peaceful international order," he said. "This is a fundamental issue of our time."